What do Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit, Schubert’s Erl-King, and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique have in common? All are deliciously spooky excursions into the musical supernatural, eternally popular with classical audiences eager to experience a good scare within the relative safety of respectable art music.
The febrile world of enchantment and witchery has always appealed to composers, and the range of works featuring spectral creatures, demonic valets, trolls, devils, and necromancers is vast.
In the perfect run-up to Halloween, popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin leads a brief but hair-raising tour of some of the best-loved classical music haunts, showcasing works by Mozart, Mussorgsky, Berlioz, Dukas, Liszt, Britten, Schubert, Ravel, Humperdinck, Offenbach, Saint-Saens, and others.
British-born Franklin has been a featured speaker for organizations including the Library of Congress and NPR, exploring intersections among classical and jazz music, film scores, and the fine arts.